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Old 04-08-2005, 08:23 AM   #1
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equipment choices

Is there a reason that so many of you seem to object to canister filters? I realize that salt water and fresh (which I have kept all my life and still do) are not alike, but I have a fluval 304 canister that I really like, and the lfs guy said I can certainly use it for salt water. He seems to be quite knowledgeable, and isn't trying to sell me lots of new equipment. He did say I'd need better lighting at some point, and a skimmer, and power heads for circulation, which I knew.

Now about protein skimmers. What are the pros and cons of the ones you are using (or have used)? I'm not dirt poor, but I don't like the idea of spending everything I have on my hobby, either.

My aquarium is 75 gallons, and so far it has un-live sand and nice warm salt water, and is cycling thanks to a couple of shrimp.

Thanks for any help!

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Old 04-08-2005, 09:18 AM   #2
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canisters are fine but a lot of us run with a sump or wet/dry system
This type of set up adds extra water volume to the tank, gives a place to put the skimmer and heaters so there not hanging on the tank.
IMO a sump is the way to go... But with a sump or wet/dry you will need to either drill the tank or get a overflow box to get the water from the tank and into the sump.
I see you have no LR? IMO LR is needed in a SW tank.. It is the best filtration you can have in your tank. Spend some time reading on this site and will find a lot of good info..
Skimmer... I have a reef devil and it is a great unit.. I have no experience with HOB skimmers which is what you will need with no sump or W/D

9/02-125 REEF, 125 lbs LR,LS 4x160 VHO, Reef Devil /Sump, Fuge
7/03-55 FOWLR 60lb LR, 50 lb SD sand 2x40 NO strip light, Reef Devil/sump, Fuge

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Old 04-08-2005, 10:49 AM   #3
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The only 'problem' with canisters is that you have to clean the sponges inside every couple of days. If you don't they become huge nitrate factories, and in a reef tank, that can be very problematic for corals and inverts.
For that reason, some run their canisters with no sponges, instead using some carbon, and bio-balls/rings.
Former advisor and planted tank geek...life's moved on though.
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Old 04-08-2005, 02:09 PM   #4
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Very good thoughts, thank you.

I do plan on putting plenty of live rock in. I've already been in touch with Zack at liverocks.com. Right now my ammonia (between .25-.50, stable) and nitrite (.50, rising) are a little high. Am I being too cautious in thinking that I'd better wait until these levels are down before I add the rock? My concern is harming any hitchhikers who may come along. Nitrate just started to increase, is at 10 ppm. I believe the cycle has a way to go, right?

If I have enough live rock, will the filter become irrelevant?

Any further advice welcomed, thank you!
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Old 04-08-2005, 11:48 PM   #5
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Yes, when you get 80-100lbs of rock (or more), the canister will not be needed although you can use it for circulation and the occasional bag of AC. The problem you're going to run into is that, when you add the rock, your tank is going to go through another cycle due to the die off on the rock although it may not be as severe as the initial cycle. I would recommend an Aqua C Remora Pro with a Mag 3 pump for an HOB skimmer on a 75g tank. Personally, I wouldn't bother with the canister. JMHO.
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Old 04-09-2005, 09:01 AM   #6
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Is carbon needed in general?
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Old 04-10-2005, 08:36 AM   #7
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i have never used a protein skimmer...but then again my tank is not your size lol
i use a fluval 404 and 3 powerheads...
plus all the LR and sand is way enuff filtration for a 35-40G tank....30 pound LR)
and yeah carbon is used now and again in my fluval..it all depends on your water parameters at different times (confusing) and it aint just a bit of carbon now and again...there is all sorts of different filter media used to get your water parameters correct (nitrates...phosphates ect)and the fluval 404 has a lot of compartments that allow me to do pretty much wot i want.
the guys on this forum r very knowlegable and i am sure you will get it right )
when you put in your LR your cycle will change again ! so you need to do it sooner than later )
and yes you will need some kind of other filtration in a tank that size IMO
fluval should be just fine though ! i am not sure how many gallons the 304 goes thru daily...but on my tank the 404 is more than enuff )
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Old 04-10-2005, 08:48 AM   #8
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Canister filters are not bad, despite the bad rep they get here. Nitrates are only created through the biological cycle only (ammonia->nitrite->NITRATE) it doesn't matter if you are using the berlin method, canister, bio-wheel, or wet/dry to complete this cycle of bacterial action. Now mind you, each one of these filter systems have their drawbacks. Canister sponges need to be cleaned at least once a week to keep the gunk off them as does the sponges in the HOB filters. Wet/dry balls need to be cleaned of gunk too. LR in the Berlin method are cleaned naturally by cleaning crews and alternating current helps keep stuff from settling on them too. IMHO I believe that the biggest complaint against biowheels, canisters and wet/dry filters as being nitrate factories are largely without scientific evidence. Those with low or no nitrates are due to a balanced system that have established anarobic colonies of bacteria within their tanks to deal with their nitrate issues (not the lack of canisters, biowheels or wet/dry systems).

Now I will get off my soap box .
Mike Jones
32 gallon hex, 34 lbs lr, Prizm protein skimmer, fluval 104, 1 maxi jet 750, 1 maxi jet 1200 ph, current 40w 50/50 pc, 1 NO powerglo 19watt, 1 daylight NO 65w (equiv), two damsels, 1 green brittlestar, 1 peppermint shrimp, turbo snails, red legged hermit crabs, kenyan tree coral, leather coral, pumping xenia, mushroom coral, green star polyps, orange button polyps
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Old 04-10-2005, 08:54 AM   #9
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aye i gotta agree with mike ere )
nice advice right there
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Old 04-10-2005, 09:17 AM   #10
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Have I missed something? Some talk of 100 lbs of liverock being enough... but we have not heard anything of the bio-load (fish) Dianeww wants to put in the tank...

The biggest thing I have learned over time with a SW vs fresh is that the water quality must be better with in the SW environment in general. So less fish!

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